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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution

Notes and discussion: Miguel Angel Asturias on literature,   pp. 352-355 PDF (2.6 MB)

Page 352

352                                      MIGUEL ANGEL ASTURIAS
This is the text of an interview between
Miguel Angel Asturias, the Guatamalan
poet and novelist who won the 1967
Nobel Prize for Literature, and
Jean Michel Fossey, editor of the
magazine Margen.*
What has been the period of greatest
achievement in Latin American
Latin American literature, like all
other literatures, has experienced
moments which one might call golden.
Our first period begins with the first
work to be written by a mestizo,
a mixture of Indian and Spaniard, the
Inca Gardilaso de la Vega; and we
can also fix this period with the
appearance in Bologna, Italy of the
Rusticario Meficano by the
Guatemalan poet Rafael Landivar.
In this work - written in Latin _
of more than 4000 hexameters,
Landivar celebrates in the year 1700
the beauty of the tropics, its riches,
its splendours; what is more
important is that here already is a
work with what might be called
a social slant, which defends the
Indian from accusations of being
vicious and indolent; Landivar dwells
*This interview first appeared in
Poesie Vivante, an international poetry
magazine published in Geneva,
Switzerland and is reproduced with
the kind permission of Poesie Vivante
and M. Fossey. The English
translation is by John La Rose,
the West Indian poet and journalist.

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